Please excuse my shameless promotion of my wife’s new blog, “Karla’s Corner.” For years, people have pleaded with Karla to write down her endless stories drawn from our 30 years of parenting adventures (and gaffes) and her 30+ years in pediatrics. No where else can you learn about how to coach preschool moms through head lice, why to not buy ferrets, the travails of private schools, and every creative idea known to man or woman about creative birthday parties.
Having been a parent now for over 22 years, I have found that nothing can quite compare with the chaos and uncertainly that comes with school applications for your child. Seeing as I am the mother of a freshman and senior in college, you might jump to the conclusion that I am referring to the college application process, but such a conclusion just reveals that you are not familiar with life in the Atlanta suburbs. Here, the horrible application process often begins as soon as your precious little one takes his or her first steps!
When I was a bright-eyed young newly-wed, recently arrived in Atlanta, one of my Junior League sponsors broke the grave reality of suburban school applications to me. Though my husband and I had not even conceived our first-born (and would not do so for almost seven more years!), this well-meaning woman asked me,“Have you already “pre-registered” your future children at one of the premier Atlanta preschools?”
When I replied with a naive, “No,” her reaction was similar to what might have happened had I told her that I enjoyed stir frying puppies and kittens for an afternoon snack. A dramatic gasp—one well-manicured hand clutching her throat in horror—a brief loss of balance that required her to sit down abruptly.
(Note from Howard … Karla does not exaggerate. Even as a young couple, we were incredulous that this person believed that we had already failed our kids and that they were doomed. Never ever doubt mob mentality when it comes to raising kids, or the near craziness it can inject into one’s seemingly well-ordered life.)
PLEASE CONTINUE READING AT KARLA’S CORNER.)
I am a Senior Partner operating out of the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the Nation’s oldest and largest management employment and labor firms. My practice is national and keeps me on the road or in one of our 28 offices about 50 percent of the time. I created and co-chair the Firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. I have almost 29 years of experience as a labor lawyer, but rely even more heavily on the experience I gained in working in my family's various businesses, and through dealing with practical client issues.
Employers tell me that they seldom meet an attorney who delivers on his promise to provide practical guidance and to be a business partner. As a result, some executives probably use different terms than “practical” to describe my fellow travelers in the profession.
I don't enjoy the luxury of being impractical because I spend much of my time on shop floors and construction sites dealing with safety, union and related issues which are driven by real world processes and the need to protect and get the most out of one's most important business assets ... its employees. That's one of the reasons that I view safety compliance as a way to also manage problem employees, reduce litigation and develop the type of work environment that makes unions unnecessary. Starting out dealing with union-management challenges and a stint in the NLRB have better equipped me to see the interrelationship of legal and workplace factors.
I am proud also of my experience at Fisher & Phillips, where providing “practical advice” is second only to legal excellence among the Firm’s values.
Our website lists me as having provided counsel for over 225 occasions of union activity, guided unionized companies, and as having managed approximately 450 OSHA fatality cases in construction and general industry, ranging from dust explosions to building collapses, in virtually every state. I have coordinated complex inspections involving multi-employer sites, corporate-wide compliance, and issues involving criminal referral.
As a full labor lawyer, I oversee audits of corporate labor, HR, and safety compliance. I have responded to virtually every type of day-to-day workplace inquiry, and have handled cases before the EEOC, OFCCP, NLRB, and numerous other state and federal agencies. At F & P, all of us seek to spot issues and then rely upon attorneys in the Firm who concentrate on those areas. No tunnel vision. I teach or speak around 50 times per year to business associations, bar and professional groups, and to individual businesses. I serve on safety committees at three states’ AGC Chapters, teach at the AGC ASMTC